“Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Psalm 25:8-10 ESV)
When Jesus saw a great crowd running out from surrounding towns to find Him, “He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:34b). Wherever the Good Shepherd found His sheep, He healed them, fed them, and gathered these beloved sinners and instructed them in the ways of God. Jesus taught crowds of thousands as well as individuals and His small group of disciples. In the village of Bethany, Martha’s sister Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching” (Luke 10:39b). Along the road to Emmaus, on the first Easter afternoon, the hearts of two disciples burned within them as the risen Lord “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,” (Luke 24:45 ESV) concerning His life, death, and resurrection.
All those who love the Lord Jesus would welcome the opportunity to sit at His feet and listen to His teaching. We wish we could have been on that road to Emmaus or sitting among the crowds that heard Him proclaim the kingdom of God. We would have been happy to join Mary of Bethany as she sat at Jesus’ feet. Yet we have that opportunity as we read and listen to His Word. In the sermons and Scripture lessons we hear during worship, in Bible classes and personal devotions, we hear and read the Word of God, listening to our Lord as He “instructs sinners in the way” and “leads the humble in what is right.” As we listen, the Holy Spirit is at work in the Word, as He glorifies Jesus and guides us “into all the truth” (see John 16:13-14).
With the sharp, two-edged sword of the Word and its piercing message of God’s holy Law, the Lord instructs sinners and “teaches the humble His way.” The mirror of His Law shows us our sins, and the Spirit leads us to recognize and confess that we have not walked in the Lord’s ways. In repentant humility we admit to God that we have failed to keep “His covenant and His testimonies,” and we ask His forgiveness. Through the sweet and comforting Word of the Gospel, the Holy Spirit enlightens us and turns our hearts to the “steadfast love and faithfulness” of God. Even though we constantly fail to follow His Word and do what is right, God did not fail to keep His covenant promise to send His Son to atone for our sins.
The Good Shepherd laid down His life to save His wandering sheep. Now He welcomes us into His presence, forgiving our sins, and leading us in what is right, in His “paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23:3b). Each time we open the Word, the Spirit opens our hearts as we join those first disciples, Mary of Bethany, and so many others, to sit humbly at the feet of Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Lord and Savior, my Good Shepherd, lead me in Your ways and teach me according to Your Word. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Aside from reading the Bible, how does God instruct you in your life?
2. Is there something about being truly humble before God that makes us better students?
3. Have you taken on the role of shepherd with anyone? How so?